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In brief

Placing Places, New edition, By Simon Catling, The Geographical Association Pounds 6 members (Pounds 9 non members), All ages.

Children should know where places are - but which places? - and how do they gain locational knowledge?

Simon Catling's Placing Places tackles these questions, first by discussing the importance of place knowledge, and then by highlighting the role of teaching and learning in acquiring it. The final substantial section of the book contains over 200 teaching activities. They are not key stage specific, but pupils of all ages should enjoy them, becoming interested and challenged.

Simon Catling has written extensively about children and places. Other titles have explored the study of locations in depth. This book has the narrower brief of developing locational knowledge, and if you have found it difficult to teach where places are in a way which engages children, look no further. As it suggests, "dip in and have a go".

Teaching Geography at Key Stage 3, By Jeff Battersby, Chris Kington Pounds 9.95.

This book sets out to describe and explain the revisions to national curriculum geography, identify key issues, and offer advice on how to proceed. It is highly successful.

The changes are explained clearly before the author identifies the issues which should concern us. He goes beyond immediate national curriculum concerns to place the subject firmly within the wider curriculum and the learning needs of all pupils. There are helpful discussions of principles and practice to assist progression, differentiation, assessment and enquiry learning. The book is peppered with punchy advice and prompts.

Jeff Battersby was a member of the SCAA Geography Advisory Group and closely involved with the Dearing revisions. This shows in his sureness of touch and the clarity with which he sets out this guidance. It merits a place on every department's bookshelf.

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